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Symbolfoto: Das AIT ist Österreichs größte außeruniversitäre Forschungseinrichtung

Road safety: "WildWarn" project takes third place in the KFV Forschungspreis 2024

AIT leads innovative project to prevent wildlife accidents in Austria - prestigious award for the interdisciplinary research team

Great success for the AIT road safety team with Michael Aleksa, Peter Saleh and Anna Huditz: On Thursday, June 20, the "WildWarn" project led by AIT was awarded third place in the KFV Forschungspreis 2024 at a gala ceremony at the Vienna Museum of Technology. The project impressed the jury with its innovative approaches to analyzing and preventing wildlife accidents as well as its interdisciplinary and data-driven approach.

Background, objectives and methodology of "WildWarn"

In Austria, around 300 accidents involving wild animals with personal injury occur every year, in which around 330 people are injured and one to two people are killed. In addition, according to Statistics Austria, around 77,000 wild animals are killed by road traffic each year, known as roadkill. In order to reduce these alarming figures, an interdisciplinary team of researchers led by the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology has launched the pioneering "WildWarn" project, which pursues innovative approaches to analyzing and preventing wildlife accidents.

As part of this project, road sections in a model region are being investigated in order to better understand the causes and correlations of wildlife accidents. Using various data sources, including satellite image data, traffic volumes, speed levels, accident frequencies, road alignment parameters and habitat data, dangerous sections are modeled spatially and temporally. The combination of this data enables a comprehensive analysis that helps to identify potential risk factors.

A key aspect of the project is data fusion, combining earth observation data with traffic and environmental information to develop an accurate and data-driven understanding of wildlife accidents. This comprehensive analysis will be made available to infrastructure operators and road users. Integration into various applications is planned, from navigation apps to a comprehensive map-based visualization of danger zones.

Prototype risk map and preventive measures

The overall aim of the project is to create a prototype risk map based on satellite image data. This web-based map is provided as a service to better analyze wildlife accidents statistically and to show the spatial and temporal relationships between potential influencing factors and the occurrence of wildlife accidents. Data on game density, especially red deer, roe deer and wild boar, as well as information on forest structure are also included in the analyses.

Michael Aleksa, AIT traffic safety expert and project manager of "WildWarn", explains: "Our innovative approach of merging earth observation data with traffic and environmental information enables us not only to analyze wildlife accidents, but also to plan preventive measures in a targeted manner. By creating a web-based risk map, we aim to increase road safety and at the same time harmonize the interaction between humans and nature. The highly gratifying third place in the KFV Forschungspreis 2024 is a great confirmation of our work."

Brigitte Bach, Managing Director of AIT, congratulates Michael Aleksa and the entire team on this significant success: "I am greatly delighted about the recognition that the 'WildWarn' project has received by coming third in the KFV Forschungspreis. This underlines the importance of our research in the field of road safety. The innovative methods and interdisciplinary collaboration used in this project make an important contribution to reducing wildlife accidents and increasing safety on our roads."


About the project

"WildWarn" was funded by the Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology (BMK) and the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) as part of the ASAP 2022 call for proposals.




About the Kuratorium für Verkehrssicherheit

The KFV (Kuratorium für Verkehrssicherheit, Austrian Road Safety Board) was founded in 1959 as an independent association and has been working to prevent accidents and improve safety in Austria for over 60 years. Today, its activities focus on the physical and material integrity of people. The KFV's areas of activity include road traffic accident prevention, household, leisure and sports accidents as well as property protection.

Kuratorium für Verkehrssicherheit


About the KFV Forschungspreis

By awarding the KFV Forschungspreis (KFV Research Prize), the KFV aims to bring research enthusiasts to the fore who are creatively and ambitiously developing new solutions for more safety in everyday life. The aim is to publicize innovative ideas and promote the practical implementation of the best ideas.

KFV Forschungspreis 2024